Recommended by Aleks Merilo

  • Recent Unsettling Events
    25 Sep. 2019
    Stolowitz has masterfully brought the frantic climate of a campus in crisis onto the stage. RECENT UNSETTLING EVENTS tells an intensely timely story where every side comes forward with the best intentions. The ultimate destiny of the characters remains open for debate: Has political correctness run completely amok? Or is it time that our thought system is burned down and rebuilt? And what kind of collateral damage do we accept in the process? Taut structure and economical storytelling creates moments of great tension, fear, and ultimately hope. This play is a personification of a conversation that needs to be had.
  • Fade to White
    14 Sep. 2019
    Sickles' writing is like visiting a mysterious foreign country- Every texture and nuance is fascinating and all the more intriguing. In this story of two people trapped in a folly of youth that will forever define them, the atmosphere is both nostalgic and ominous, braided with the themes of regret and absolution. It also paints a picture of a time when a pupil with special needs was looked on in a manner that now feels so tragic. Kuddos for creating two great roles for senior actors. Such a real moment, I could listen to this pair reminisce for hours.
  • 110 STORIES
    12 Sep. 2019
    I had just wondered whether or not there was a play the truly captured 9/11, and then stumbled across "110 stories." Written in first person accounts, and sharing the structures of Moises Kaufman and Anna Devere Smith, Sarah Tuft has refined the horror of September 11th into a piece of verbatim theater and living artwork. She skillfully sidesteps melodrama and manipulation and lets the raw power of the story speak for itself. The stories range from the horror of Garret Fisher, to the heartfelt Karen Slade, to Elizabeth Gilbert's near perfect coda. This is a stirring and powerful tribute.
  • Congrats on your wedding!
    10 Sep. 2019
    An unvarnished, honest, and painfully universal monologue. What could have settled as a voyeuristic comedy sketch becomes something deeper. The uniqueness of the structure is delightful and immediate. I love the moments that hint at history without spelling it out, where the audience is left of contemplate the significance of anteaters, peanut butter, and grandma's hair dresser. We are left with the feeling that we start the play with a stranger, but leave with an intimate friend. This play is proof that a 5 minute monologue can seemingly tell the story of a full life.
  • The Feral Child
    8 Sep. 2019
    Rand Higbee writes some of the funniest comedies I have seen or read, and I have been following his work ever since I saw his play "The Head that wouldn't Die". Another delightful play, "The Feral Child" hinges on the question of who gets to decide what we really are. The tone is so weirdly wholesome yet baffling, I smiled the whole time reading this. While wrapped in comedic structure, this is actually a great contemporary allegory for the questions "identity" poses for a confused world. I look forward to watching this play, and laughing till it hurts.
  • TAMAR, The Two-Gated City
    6 Sep. 2019
    "Stand up tall. You will stand for us all, past and future". With this line, Emma Goldman Sherman astonishingly manages to connect the books of the bible to the #me-too era. Overtly provocative and extremely bold, this script creates a juxtaposition of 2 subjects guaranteed to force hard conversations: Rape, and the bible. Terse dialogue plays along side poetic monologues that could almost serve as short plays of their own. Emma accomplishes the nearly impossible task of taking biblical fables and making them personal and immediate. By the end of this play, no sacred cows are spared. Bravo!
  • Medea Part Deux: That Woman!
    3 Sep. 2019
    First off, one of my favorite titles in a long, long time. Secondly, disguised by its light delivery, Triplett manages to deliver insights into the sexism and racism inherent in Greek Mythology with astute insight. He tackles such weighty subjects with thoughtful restraint - The audience is coaxed into thinking about them rather being battered over the head. The language is also very fun. The sections written in verse contrast beautifully with dialogue that approaches vaudevillian. I would love to see this staged in a classical fashion. The Greeks would be proud.
  • Concordance
    31 Aug. 2019
    A play of deep resonance and conviction. Whereas the current trend for new plays is to go tighter, faster, simpler, John Minigan defies that convention completely. The enormity of the scope he takes on could be compared to the works Peter Schaffer. Set in the legendary Bedlam asylum, the emotions and passions of the characters are immensely colorful in contrast to the hell that surrounds them. The root of the play, being the relationship between Alexander and Christina endears, shocks, and pulls at the heartstrings. Oh, and designers would drool over this play. I am always a fan of John.
    30 Aug. 2019
    "In this nightmare, whose face do you see?" On the surface, it is an interrogation of a persecuted woman. On another level, it is the American conflict between Native Americans and the US government played out in a mircocosm. Proof that sometimes the most infuriating racism is the kind that comes from an character who in his heart believes he is noble. 10-minute plays are all too often a chance to run a gimmick or a frivolous gag - I am so happy to see Lucy Wang use this form to portray the drama and tragedy of America's original sin.
    30 Aug. 2019
    Riveting, disquieting, even dangerous. Hoke has created a timelessly rich conflict about how The battle between head and heart plays out. Watching the tension slowly boil to the surface is truly cathartic, especially when it is written with such genuine authenticity. A clever casting choice allows us to, in a sense, watch a character come of age twice at two different points in her life - A structural choice I have never seen before. I would love to be a fly on the wall when the audience debates at the end of the show.